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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  June 11, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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american constitution. until the day he died kennedy lobbied the congress for passage of the civil rights bill, opening the door of restaurant, hotel and gas station restroom to all americans. the cruel irony is that the bill passed largely because of the national grief over kennedy's death. that's "hardball." now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes and thank you for joining us. tonight on "all in" n strks a surveillance is the big story. i've still got my eyes on you, marco rubio. you don't get to pretend to be the hero of immigration reform while working behind the scenesx to kill it. i'll tell you about his latest back door shenanigans coming up. plus, surprising good news from the violence-plagued city of chicago. but is the news too good to be true? i know the tonys were this week, but the truly star-studded affair, the one with hugh
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jackman and tom cruise live on stage together, that was at a walmart shareholder meeting in arkansas. and, yeah, it's just about the weirdest thing ever. seriously. you have to see this tape. we begin tonight with this man. former alabama governor george wallace who 50 years ago today made his infamous stand in the schoolhouse door. a principled stand on behalf of evil. in defiance of the united states justice department, governor george wallace stood outside the university of alabama personally blocking two black students from enrolling there. >> i stand here today as governor of this sovereign state and refuse to submit to the illegal use of power by the central government. >> today, 50 years later when we look back on that moment on june 11th, 1963, we can tell very clearly the heroes and the villains. george wallace was obviously the villain in this story, and vivian malone and james hood, the two students blocked by george wallace from registering
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that day, were heroes. along with the rest of the civil rights movement, folks like martin luther king jr., the people who are fighting for integration, they're the heroes. they're the good guys. but the united states government at the time, it was not at all clear. in 1963, president kennedy, himself, said this of dr. king. >> the trouble with king is everybody thinks he's our boy. king is so hot these days it's like marx coming to the white house. >> he admitted later he asked the fbi to make an intensive investigation of martin luther king. and that on october 10th, 1963, he personally authorized the fbi to begin wiretapping king's phones. the kennedys were most certainly not alone in these attitudes toward dr. king. in the 1960s, much of the security apparatus of the cold war american state was obsessed with the idea that the civil rights movement was infiltrated by communists, and working to
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tear down u.s. society from the inside. and no single person captured the fear and paranoia of the security apparatus more than dr. martin luther king. so faced with what they perceived as a threat, the security state did what all security states do when faced with the perceived threat. they surveilled dr. king around the clock. they stalked his every move, broke into and bupged his office. they bugged his hotel rooms and they were trapped into his phones. the fbi and jay hoover were obsessed with ruining dr. martin luther king jr., in 1964 after hoover called king the most no no tor yous liar in the country in a press conference, a package was sent to king in the mail, a package the house select committee ultimately traced back to the fbi. inside this package, one of the most remarkable artifacts in american history was an anonymous letter addressed to martin luther king. and a copy of an electronic surveillance tape apparently to lend credence to threats of
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exposure of derogatory personal information made in the letter. we don't know to this day for sure what was on that tape. the heavy speculation throughout the years it was of personal and sexual nature recorded by a device planted in dr. king's hotel room. the letter that came with the tape read in part, "you know you are complete fraud and a great liability to all of us negroes. the american public will know you for what you are, an evil abnormal beast. king, there is only one thing left for you to do. you know what it is. you are done. there is but one way out for you. you better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation." the committee considered it thilthil highly likely that director hoover had before the facts knowledge of the action. so that's a letter encouraging dr. martin luther king jr. to kill himself, sent to king from the fbi. this happened in american history. it's just one example out of many of how the full weight of
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the surveillance state constructed to fight the cold war was used against the people working for racial equality. it may have been constructed to defeat the russians and the genuine threat of global communism, but it was deployed on people like carmichael and dr. martin luther king jr. this is all particularly relevant today. not just because it's generally good to take heed of the lessons from history, but because of the spy novel-esque mystery that is unfolding in the news right now which involves the uncovering of a massive and sophisticated surveillance apparatus being operated by the united states government. the whereabouts of the 29-year-old at the center of the intrigue, intelligence contractor edward snowden, had been unknown since he checked out of a hong kong hotel after filming a jaw-dropping interview in which he took credit for leaking classified documents exposing government phone and internet spying tactics and programs. since his video confession, he has officially been fired. the consulting firm booz allen announcing the firing today saying he worked there for less than three months and aearned a
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salary of $122,000 a year. notably is quite a bit less than the 200 grand he claimed to have been making. the justice department is reportedly already working on pursuing criminal charges against snowden which is said to be the first step necessary to force him to return to the u.s. and the aclu filed a lawsuit against the obama administration today charging that the newly released phone record collection being done by the government is illegal. the aclu is asking the judge to bar the mass collection of domestic phone logs and to order existing records to be purged. arguing the program, quote, gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious and intimate associations. but all of that said, when you look at public opinion, americans appear at the moment, at least, you may be watching this feel this way, to be fairly tolerant of this kind of
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surveillance. when you ask as pollsters from the "washington post" and pew did this week if it's more important for the government to investigate terror threats or preserve americans' privacy. an overwhelming majority, 62% say investigate threats even if it violates our privacy. those numbers are, well, i think totally understandable. because everybody wants the government to catch terrorists, and the lack of privacy seems fairly abstract. most americans probably feel pretty far removed from the days of jay edgar hoover spying on dr. martin luther king and with some good reason. if you ask me, in the abstract, do you think it's okay for the government to be able to access millions of americans' phone records and internet activity as long as those tools are just for catching terrorists and they're never, ever abused, i would be tempted to say, yes, that's totally okay. but there's a pretty major sticking point, and that is the as long as it's not abused part. because history tells us that is not actually a thing. a nonabused massive government
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surveillance apparatus. that is not what dr. martin luther king tells us. frankly, you don't even have to look at history. just look at the news from the fall of 2008 when a pair of nsa whistleblowers came forward to talk about what was being done with the agency's surveillance tools way back then. >> i would say that after 9/11, particularly with the fact we were listening to satellite phone communications, rather than targeting military entities in the middle east, we were actually listening to a lot of everyday ordinary people who really in many ways had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. >> the times when i was told, hey, check this out, there's something really some good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny. go check it out and it would be some colonel making pillow talk. >> and you would listen? >> it was there, stored the way you look at songs on your ipod. >> that was our post-9/11
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anti-terrorist surveillance state at work just a few years ago. examples of big sweeping surveillance programs misfiring are all over the place. just last month, nbc's michael isikoff flagged reports that a special home run security unit was closely monitoring anti-wall street demonstrations including tracking the facebook pages and websites of the protesters and writing reports on the potentia÷ impact on commercial and financial sector assets in downtown areas. right around the time thew3 u.s government received the second government about the radical islamic ties of alleged boston marathon bomber tamerlan tsarnaev. when you construct a massive surveillance apparatus, history tells us that it willp>!v- be bt to bear not just on, quote, the enemy, but on the people who threaten society's power structure. on whoever exists at the political margins, whether it's martin luther king jr. or some occupy boston protesters. it's not some orwellian abstraction. it's america's history and
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america's recent history, and left unchecked i fear america's future. joining me now is civil rights activist, julian, former chairman of the naacp. a founding member of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. it's a great honor to have you, and i just want to start with getting your reaction. as someone who lived through this period, who lived with the knowledge that the government was tracking you and tracking colleagues and associates of yours. how you are understanding the last few days of revelations and news. >> you know, it's all over again. dr. king's lieutenant all said we live in a recording studio. i wonder why does this agency spend all this time writing down my car tag numbers, saying i've been to this place, i've been to that place, i've been to this place? none of them with any kind of
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criminal intent, when they could have been catching real criminals. why did they do that? why did the state sovereignty commission in mississippi spend 20 years following and surve surveilling white and black figures in the freedom movement in mississippi only because they were opposed to white supremacy? governments do these kinds of things and once they do them, they can't control them. they want to listen to the salacious telephone call. they want to take the picture they shouldn't take of people doing whatever they're doing. they just have to do it. sadly, government cannot control itself with this tool at hand. >> and it's very interesting to hear you say that because what we -- the argument we've been hearing over the last few days is, look, jay edgar hoover was an anomalous figure in american history and rogue agent of state power. what we have right now is all three branches of government, congress briefed on these programs, we have fisa courts that have signed off on this and the executive and oversight. this is something very different. apples and oranges when i sit
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here and make these comparisons to the 1960s. what's your reaction to that? >> well, it's all well and good to say that, and to believe that. we hope that's the truth. that good people are in charge. now, those were bad people way back then. do you know about the fusion centers? the 72 fusion centers around the united states controlled by police agencies, what are phqbw doing? who are they listening to? what do we know about them? this is frightful to me to know that in 17 locations around the united states, agents of government are listening to my telephone or doing this or doing that or doing that. following me in some way or the other. not me particularly, but people like me. it's scary for me. >> when people, there's been some polling that suggests that democrats have had quite a change of heart on this issue. and i think part of that is just the natural way that trust works in a political system. people are inclined to trust barack obama if they're democrats. for all sorts of reasons, they feel their world views align. what is your -- what do you have to say to folks that find
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themselves conflicted we the news this week but have a tendency to trust someone like barack obama who they feel is a good person with a good vision and they voted forñr and they support. >> i'm conflicted, too, i have a lot of trust. i've seen this happen before. i've seen us go down this road before and i'm afraid we may well go down this road right now. i don't see anybody stopping it or telling me that we're not doing it. just telling me to trust people is not enough for me. >> civil rights activist, legend, in fact, julian bond. it's a great honor to have you. >> my pleasure. thank you. joining me is founder and president of the center for social inclusion. a social justice non-profit. and bill burton, former deputy white house press secretary who's now the executive vice president of global strategy group, a public affairs firm in washington, d.c. and bill, i want to start with you and get your reaction to what julian bond had to say. i think i have been involved in heating intrafamily disputes about the revelations we've
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gotten from snowden over the last few days and published in "the guardian" about the nature of the government's operations to look at information of its citizens. there's a real kind of contested argument being had. i'm curious, as someone who worked in government and is now outside of it what your feeling is about it. >> well, let me say three quick things, chris. >> yes. >> number one, i took the same oath that snowden took when he took that job when he had access to classified information, and it's an oath that he broke and he broke a law by giving that information out and making ityt public. and he did actually make our country less safe by revealing sources and methods by which we try to go and get bad guys who wish us harm. >> let me stop you right there. how do you know that? that's a claim people have made. it seems to me possible, but it also seems to me a claim you cannot just definitively declaim on national television without some supporting evidence. >> i'm not sure which claim you're talking about. >> that he made the country less safe. >> it is illegal to give up
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classified information particularly when you're in a foreign country. number two, he did make us less safe because if you've got this enormous program designed toa9mt information about the people who are trying to do us harm,xd tryg to kill americans, trying to do damage to our country, then, yes, you're definitively making our country less safe. so this debate about whether or not snowden is a traitor i think is completely obscures the issue that he actually single handedly did damage to an important national security program. you don't have to take my word for it. the head of intelligence said it, himself. >> mia, i want to hear your response to that. >> well, i think it's a complicated issue. i actually work for the united states government as an assistant united states attorney and i would take the oath very seriously. i think the issue of seriousness here, i agree with you, chris, on one level, which is that we don't know. except that any time you certainly have the strategy of
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the united states government and surveillance made public, there is some concern people are trying to do harm might have some sense of how the government's trying to catch them. on the other hand, we have a situation which we have the government essentially creating a metadatabase on americanok citizens with huge sweeps of who we're calling, what numbers are being dialed to us, and that is a database that's being held, and we should be concerned about that. so i think there are two issues here and i think it's important to also consider the issue of government surveillance as well and weather it's gone too far. >> it's misleading in a sense that this program is designed specifically -- >> which one are we talking about? there's a number. >> we're talking about prism. it's designed specifically to target foreign individuals who would do our country harm. >> let me -- >> hold on. let me just finish. let me just finish. hold on. hold on. whenever information is citizens, there are very specific rules by which that information is treated.rçhh@
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but this program has specific oversights by judges and by congress. >> and by congressmen who've actually stated that they're not sure thatxd they can completely- keith ellison came out today and said the complicating factor here is based on the jargon that it's not always clear to some of the elected officials what they're even being told. i mean, i think it's one thing to say that we have to take seriously the national security of the country. that's a really important principle. certainly can whether we should have contra contractors who are actually private contractors. seriously i would have taken the o oath very seriously. it's wrong to say, the government oversight, secret court. it's one of the reasons why the aclu filed a lawsuit today. there's some form of slippery slope we should be concerned about here. your point, chris, about the trust factor is actually one we should take seriously.
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conservative republicans are concerned -- >> here's the distinction i want to make. bill, you made the point, used this word design. that to me is where this comes down to. the question is, there's a difference, there's a gap that opens up often between design and implementation. maya wiley, bill burton. thank you. we'll be right back. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ wife ] sorry. [ male announcer ] but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. on any new volkswagen. i am an american i'm a teacher. i'm a firefighter. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month.
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there's big news out of chicago today. the city that has had a brutal time of it lately has become an absolute national emblem for the scourge of gun violence. the city's troubles painfully crystalized when a 15-year-old chicago girl who performed in the president's inauguration was murdered one week later about a mile away from president obama's chicago house. she was the unintended target of gun violence, like-9 so many others. first lady michelle obama attended pendleton's funeral. president obama addressed chicago's gun violence when he was there in february. >> we may not be able to save every child from gun violence, but if we save a few, that!u starts changing the atmosphere in our communities. neighborhood by neighborhood, one block by one block, one family at a time. >> today, chicago was treated to a different kind of headline. a substantial drop in homicides and shootings in the first part of this year. homicides down 34% compared to the same period in 2012.
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shootings of children 16 andr younger down 46% compared to last year. of course, it's obscene we even have to keep a record of shootings of children 16 and younger which is exactly why gun violence in chicago and other cities is so destructive and so terrorizing. as reported by "the times" as many as 400 police officers a day working overtime have been dispatched to the 3% of chicago's geography that accounts for 20% of its worst crimes. but that is being done at a cost of nearly $32 million of the $38 million total in budget overtime. that's 84% of budget overtime pay already spent and it's only june. wants the city to continue staffing police in these hotspot, working regular hours, not overtime. "it's sustainable because it's actually bringing the results i want to see." as for the recent crime statistics emanuel says quth it's good but not good enough." joining me is mary mitchell of
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"the chicago sun-times." mary, it's been a horrible stretch for chicago, and as someone who lived and worked in chicago and loves the city with all of my heart and soul, painful and wrenching to watch it. this news got me excited and i want to know if i should be feeling good about a corner having been turned in the city. >> well, i don't know if we should go so far to say that a corner has been turned. it has been a, you know, in chicago the weather's been terrible. it's now just beginning to get warm consistently. it seems like every time the weather breaks you have a news of more shootings. and we talk about a 34% reduction. that sounds good because it's a statistic, but the headlines say that since friday, 28 people in chicago have been shot and 3 of them have been killed by gunfire. if you live in a neighborhood where you're hearing shots fired, that statistic doesn't mean anything to you. i think we have a long way to go. i don't think it's time to
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celebrate yet. i think in august we need to come back and look at this and see if we can sustain the reduction in the shootings. >> what is the relationship right now between folks living in those neighborhoods that make up the 3% of the geography, where 20% of the worst crimes happen, and where mayor emanuel has been targeting police force. between those communities and the mayor, because those have been very fraught over a number of issues including crime, including school closings. where does that relationship stand right now? >> well, i think it's very tense and i think it's tense for a lot of reasons, not just school closings. i think it's tense because as you know nationally 21% of african-american teenagers are unemployed. they can't find a job so they're standing on corners. it's warm outside. it's too hot to be inside. they're hanging out.x6tr(t&háhp% doing thingingst they shouldn't be doing and becoming victims of the gun violence. i think it's strain between the chicago police department. still. i think the sympathy is sticity
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build trust in that area. we have a long way to go before we get to a point we can breathe a sigh of relief that chicago lives up to the city it can and should be. >> what is it about chicago in which you have, i remember when i lived there, you have -- it really is a tale of two cities kind of place because the violence is so concentrated in certain areas then largely an se an september bsent in other are. racial segregation, particularly, but other forms of segregation that made it possible for mayors to get away with levels of violence that would be unsustainable if theqm were encroaching on the kinds of people that held the most haamot of power in the city. >> this is a complex problem and it really at the heart of it is a lack of resources. it's a lack of recreational facilities. a lack of jobs. a lack of stores. just a lack of thvejçl kind of resources that you would find on another side of the city. the north side, for instance. people are employed. people are not hanging out on corners. people have a place to go and something to do. in communities where there's
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nothing to do, where there is a lack of resources and you have a lot of young people those communities, you're going to have a problem. not to mention the teardown of public housing that spread poverty across certain sections of the city. that became a problem and is still a problem. >> mary mitchell from "chicago sun-times." great city of chicago. thank you so much. >> thank you. walmart just had its big annual shareholders meeting and would very much like it if you paid attention to all of the big-name celebrities they had on stage instead of their terrible labor practices. thank you very much. more on that coming up. [ female announcer ] made just a little sweeter...
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when president obama takes the podium on the day of the significant vote for one of his key legislative goals, you can bet he's going to do a little arm twisting. on thick the importance of passing comprehensive immigration reform in the senate just hours before a vote to allow a debate on the bipartisan bill. >> if you're not serious about it, if you think that a broken system is the best america can do, then i guess it might make sense to try to block it, but if you're actually serious and sincere about fixing a broken system, this is the vehicle to do it and now's the time to get it done. there's no good reason to play procedural games or engage in obstruction just to block the best chance we've had in years to address this problem in a way that's fair to middle class
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families, to businessowners, to legal immigrants. >> now, just last week, we were heari inin ining murmurs that t bill was doomed and some worried the motion to proceed would not even pass and if it did republicans told us to expect a squeaker of a vote. at about 2:00 p.m. today the bill sailed through its first cloture vote with only 15 republicans voting no. whenever you get 82 votes for cloture, that is to end a filibuster in the united states senate, for the president's signature domestic policy priority, that is a pretty big deal. even instigators like tea party republican ted cruz admitted the full bill was likely to pass the senate. and in a moment of triumph and confidence, democratic senator tim kaine of virginia delivered his full statement in spanish. [ speaking spanish ]
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>> translation, let's show this country and the world it's not a republican bill, it is not a democratic bill, but it is a strongly bipartisan bill, an american bill. so all in all, a pretty good day for the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform, except for the back door shenanigans of one man, oh, yes, marco rubio, i still see what you're doing. last week i told you how rubio is trying to have it both ways on this bill. he wants to look like a hero of the republican donor and consultant class by bridging the gap with disgruntled latino voters, but at the same time he's adding amendments to his own bill like one about tighter border security in order to win kudos from the hardcore anti-immigration people in his party. and today rubio was showing both faces in the span of a couple of hours. here he is on the senate floor explaining why the bill should pass. >> who else is being helped by the status quo? who else likes what we have right now? the answer is nobody. and leaving this in place is not an alternative.
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it is not an option. this is the problem that's hurting our country and the only way i know how to solve the problem is get involved if trying to solve it. that's why i came here. >> okay. that sounds great, but behind the scenes he's still trying to kneecap a bill that he negotiated. he's apparently using fellow republican republican kelly ayot as the bargaining chip to get his border amendment added to the bill. the "huffington post" reporting rubio privately urged ayotte to remain quiet about her support for immigration reform in hopes that senate negotiators would amend the bill's border security measures to win her vote. if you think that's the most counterproductive amendment he's trying to add, here's one out of the transcripts of the rush limbaugh show. rubio, this is a bill he helped create and wants to add a environment for the understanding of an english language, ability to read, write and speak words in ordinary usage in the english language as if the bill was written buchanan. to pull the bait and switch once? but three times?
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i'm sorry, marco rubio, but you can not be in two places at once. you do not get to have it both ways. look around your side of the aisle and see what i mean. take senator lindsey graham, for instance. yes, i know lindsey graham is a demagogue and grandstander. he's mr. benghazi and a war hawk of the highest order. but he has been a stallworth leader from the republican side on immigration reform. >> yes, i believe it will pass the house because it secures our borders. it controls who gets a job. as to the 11 million, they'll have a pathway to citizenship, but it will be earned. it will be long. and it will be hard. and i think it is fair. >> that's been lindsey graham's position on this from the get-go. he's been very consistent. he's not playing footsie with the far right immigration opponents. he's not trying to blow up the bill on the sly. lindsey graham knows how parent an immigration reform bill is to a republican party that has almost completely alienated latino voters. so i guess that's what you have to live up to, marco rubio. i can't believe i'm saying this, but you need to be more like lindsey graham. if you want to be a republican
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leader and guy with a political future in the national gop, this is my advice to you, marco rubio, just be the best lindsey graham you can be. believe me, i'm setting the bar very, very low. be right back with click free. l"bé@ozá$ hey hun, remember you only need a few sheets. hmph! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. ♪ charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less. hope you saved some for me. mhmm! you and the kids. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra soft. you and the kids. this man is about to be the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. nobody likes to miss out. that's why ally treats all their customers the same. whether you're the first or the millionth.
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nissan tests hundreds of child seats to give you a better fit and a safer trip. snug kids, only from nissan. ♪ yes, that is big-time movie star hugh jackman chatting up walmart associates at friday's walmart shareholders meeting. coming up, we'll explain how the wolverine, himself, was upstaged in arkansas by an even bigger celebrity and then a blang bangladeshi. george h.w. bush turns 89 tomorrow. to mark the occasion, free birthday cake and blue bell ice cream will be hand. if you can't attend the festivitieses don't worry, you can still celebrate. the library encourages you to wear exuberant socks and post photos of your socks online as a tribute to the former president
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bush 41. the man has taken to wearing colorful socks in recent years. socks are front and center at official events like these he wore to the dedication of his son's library and come in handy during a parent aarp dream sequences like this one. the socks prove to all that our 41st president is still 93% wasp but 7% vegas. happy birthday, sir. the second awesomest thing on the internet today, conspiracy theorist and professional ba whackadoo gets put in his place sort of. jo "the guardian" newspaper offered this reserved critique after watching the program. "it was the tv equivalent of shaking diet coke and mentos." >> i'm here to warn people. you keep telling me to shut up. this isn't a game. okay? our government in the u.s. is building fema camps. they disappear people now. you have this arrest for public
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safety. life in prison. >> you are the worst fern i've ever interviewed. >> no, no, it's basically off with their heads. >> david, thank you for being with us. ten past 11:00. you're watching the sunday positives. we have an idiot on the program today. coming up in just 20 minutes -- >> you will not stop the republic. humanity is awakening. infowars.com. no. >> the week ahead with our political panel. until then, the sunday politics across the uk. >> oh, huge props to presenter andrew neil for remaining remarkably calm and good humored while jones took over. good to know the symbol for that guy is crazy pants is, indeed, universal. this third awesomest thing on the internet today, to humans of the future. one pittsburgh-based artist came up with several designs imagining what human beings will look like at various points in the future. based on nothing. basically. well, based on hypotheses put forth by one expert on
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computational genomics. here's what we humans look like today. here's what we'll look like 20,000 years from now. apparently we'll be rocking a five head. here's what we'll look like 60 years from now. this completes the spray tan phase of human development. here's what we'll look like 100,000 years from now, like a giant bratz doll mated with my little pony. good news is we'll all be dead. before you lament the fate of futureaéeñ generations, it's important to note one geneticist calls this quite simply, horse blank. these firsted appeared on a website called my voucher codes. we look forward to the next one conducted by your local penny saver. find the links for tonight's click 3 on our website, allinwithchris.com. we'll be right back. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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or do you want to dive right in? with a degree in business from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to go further in your career than you ever thought possible. let's get started at capella.edu what if i told you about a remarkable entertainment extravaganza that might be bigger than the tony awards, and the same league as the oscars, where you can see hugh jackman, kelly clarkson, elton john, taylor swift, justin timberlake, will smith, ben stiller, aerosmith, the black eyed peas, alicia keys, mariah carey, and enrique iglesias? where can i enjoy this feast of the senses? fayetteville, arkansas. walmart, the largest private employer in the u.s. and mexico, holds its annual shareholders
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meeting. this year's meeting which was held on friday featured hugh jackman, not as the main event but as the emcee warmup act to introduce the surprise guest. >> there is no way in the world you do not know this guy. and he's here this morning. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome tom cruise. >> what this company does is it's using its size and scale to improve women's lives across the world. you know, i've wanted to come here for this thing for quite some time, actually, because the culture that you have going here is really like no other. you know?ñrñr >> and tom cruise international movie star began speaking like the head of diversity and humaç resources. >> what this company does is it's using its size and scale to improve women's lives across the world. it's very clear that women make a difference to this company.
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>> #shameless. q%5=9%1j5ñ the widespread nature of walmart's alleged discrimination against its female employees. >> walmart, a company of 1.4 million people employed in the u.s., heads to the supreme court tomorrow, brought there by six women who say they were subjected to years of sex discrimination. >> duke says walmart's supervisors cheated her on raises and repeatedly passed her over for promotions. >> class action lawsuit claims that walmart denied female employees equal opportunities for promotion to certain management and management track positions. >> major legal troubles for megr retailer walmart. a massive gender discrimination case it's been fighting for years is one step closer to going to trial. >> even though a class action lawsuit against walmart by more than a million women was dismissed in 2011 by the u.s. supreme court, not on the merits, i would add.
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the equal employment opportunity commission is in the process of helping close to 2,000 women individually pursue lawsuit against wall heamawalmart. it became clear what was on display was a tale of two walmarts. one that centered on the spectacle of celebrity for a company that sold more than $400 billion worth of stuff last year. and a company that we think about when we think about terrible working conditions in the 21st century. during a brief moment where shareholders could present proposals and criticisms, a u.n. activi activist, not a celebrity, raised the issue of walmart's proposal to sign on to a factory safety plan already agreed upon by more than 40 companies in the ññr occurred at bangladeshi factories that made walmart products. a fire that killed people last winter and the factory collapse that killed over 1,100 people in april. an accident, walmart officials have made promise to improve the
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terrible conditions in my country's government factories. but the tragedies continues. with all due respect, the time for empty promises is over. >> what she's asking in that auditorium, in that stadium with all the walmart shareholders is how many people have to die making walmart's clothes before something is actually done. not to protect walmart's corporate brand from blame, but to hold it responsible for workplace deaths. my colleague, john nichols will join me along with my favorite walmart apologist and friend, business insider, joe wisenthal, right after the break. red... you suggested luxury car service instead of "strength training with patrick willis." come on todd! flap them chicken wings. [ grunts ] well, i travel a lot and umm... [ male announcer ] at visa signature, every upgraded experience comes from listening to our cardholders.
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possession by the devil. today the "huffington post" types out there's a typo on the cover of the same book. "ten commandments to an extraordinary life." commandments is short one "m." if you're looking formy the dev, pastor jackson, it's in the details. while you're on amazon, check out "twilight of elites". buy it, know it, read it, love it. we'll be right back.
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s joining me now is john nichols, washington correspondent for my magazine "the nation" and author of "dollarocracy." joe weisenthal, executive director of "business insider." this to me gets to what walmart's power is, okay? here is hugh jackman telling the people in this room he missed his daughter's firstw3 play to attend the shareholders meeting. take a look. >> my daughter, eva, is in her
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very first school play which have we got any parents here? all right. trust me. i'm thrilled to be here, but my daughter is not so thrilled that i'm here. she's like, dad, can you -- i'm a bit nervous. can you help me learn the lines? and you're going to be there, right, dad? i'm like, not really. so literally just minutes ago, offstage, i just got an e-mail from my wife of my daughter. so will you indulge? it's like ten seconds. watch this. ñ f of the bridge is the -- i can't wait. >> how was that? >> i played that because you're watching that going, why are you here? you're a multimillionaire. you're a celebrity. go to your daughter's play. the reason he's there is because walmart is so powerful, it has
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relationships with all the staud y stud studios. they're not paid for this. they give them a wish list. that, to me, the power to get hugh jackman and tom cruise is the power of this enterprise that if it wanted to could do a lot of other things like make sure bangladeshi factory building codes work. my question to you, joe, as someone who covers business and covers walmart is why can't that power be brought to bear on the production line, on the supply chain? >> it probably could. you're totally right. i think, i mean, one thing about walmart in the political sense, it's just an incredibly conservative culture, how little the company changes the headquarters in bentonville, just, like, and they're kind of like famous for not even having art on the walls or spending any money on anything like that. they're really tight with ex-tenex te ex-ten ex-tenses. that's a remarkable show of power they can get him to skip his daughter's -- they obviously have a lot of power over employees in the u.s. and
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probably a good way to counter that would be to have a better safety net in the u.s. so employees don't have to feel like they're at the mercy of this one employer. that kind of argument becomes a little hard to make when even a millionaire actor feels that he's -- >> exactly. >> that was going to be my argument. now i'm skeptical about that. >> here's what i say to you, john. we've seen, we've seen labor and lefties trying to get at walmart for a long time and offering very similar critiques. we know what their business practices are, we know about the -- there's been this our walmart that started recently, there's a shareholder activism. it always seems to me a little like we're in waiting in this. is anything puncturing that power? like, is the reputation actually getting tarnished in a way that's making tangible gains? >> it just did for me. i have to tell you, i went to my daughter's play three times. i just want to tell you, even be you asked me to come on this fine show, i got to go with the kid. >> yeah. >> and so i think things like that are unsettling. i think we're paying a lot of attention to walmart. that has an impact. but i will suggest to you
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something that i think is important here, and that is that walmart is so convinced of its imperviousness. so certain that it can not be touched that the bigger thing is not getting hugh jackman there. it is after the year they've been through, after a year where they had to pay millions of dollars for wage theft, after a year in which they had these incredible lawsuits, some of which you just talked about. >> workers go outxd on strike. >> actual workers going on strike. and what happened in bangladesh. >> right. >> wouldn't you think that a company that had even the most minimal sense of responsibility will say, maybe we'll dial it down a little bit. maybe we won't be so over the top. i do believe the reason they're so over the top is not because of them. i think it is because structurally they are absolutely certain that they've got this system under control. >> i also do think there's an element where they view leanness and squeezing every penny out of cost as, like, as an innovation,
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as a -- >> as their ethos. >> asking them to dial it down would be asking apple to dial it down on why it makes such an expensive iphone or whatever. it's just like they view that as -- >> complete company identity is around this. here's my question. it's like, is there a reputational threat to the company on the one hand? and is there a business threat? because i also look at this and i say, look, wages are rising in china. the entire model of walmart is predicated on low wages in china which are going up. like, can the walmart model which is cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting continue in perpetuity? >> yeah, i think there is certainly a real risk to them. you can't keep chasing the lower wages. that's not really a sustainable -- that's not a sustainable thing. then but i also think it is worth pointing out that there are considerable benefits toçóñ walmart for the poor -- >> the bottom line is this, we need to address this structurally. walmart takes advantage of its ability to control our politics, to control so much of our
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discourse. that's where to go at it. don't worry about the company. worry about a free trade and all sorts of other things that make this possible. >> john nichols from "the nation" and business insider's joe weisenthal. "the rachel maddow show" begins right now. thank you at home for joining us this hour. this is balzona, mississippi, and this picture was taken in 1939. it's an african-american man, apparently going to the movies. you can see him there in the hat. right? see him sort of in silhouette. below him, written on the side of the stairs outside the theater, it says colored admission, 10 cents. because this man is black in balzona, mississippi, in 1939 me has to use a separate door and has to sit way up in the balcony. in mississippi now, of course, and everywhere in the country, theaters are integrated and today this man could sit anywhere he wants, but this particular theater is gone. there is no regular place to go see a movie in belzoni, mississippi, anymore

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